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Tuesday, April 29, 2014


‘Ella,’ me dice, ‘Abiguita no puede comer los nueces. Ella no puedo respirar con los nueces.’

I was so proud of myself.

I speak Spanish, but only in a very present-tense sort of way, with very good pronunciation (in a Central American sort of way, porque mi padre vivio en Costa Rica cuando fue un niño). But I feel it's very important to be able to say, "She - Abby - cannot eat nuts. She cannot breathe with nuts," in as many languages as she is likely to be offered nuts.

So when our neighbor across the street, who speaks very little English, offered both girls some ice cream, I decided to check for myself, because Abby does not know the phrase in question yet. 

We have run into the problem before. Indian restaurants are a minefield; although most people there speak English very well, there are her two deadliest allergens - cashews and pistachios - in abundance. We avoid Indian restaurants when she is with us. Chinese restaurants can be a problem (unless we already know them well or they speak English well) because who knows whether the cook has prepared Abby's orange chicken in a pan used for cashew pork? Name any restaurant where there may be a language barrier and it's a problem, except in Mexican restaurants, because I speak enough Spanish to clarify.

As for other food news - in English this time - I lost eleven pounds in my first six week on Weight Watchers (and I've probably lost more here this week, but stomach bugs or food poisoning or whatever it was don't count). I'm feeling pretty good about it, because hey, eleven pounds is eleven pounds. I was a little down about the whole thing after Norwescon, because although I understand the concept of loving one's body the way it is, and even agree with that view of health at any size, I felt judged because I don't like my body the way it is. 

I know there's a happy medium; I have at least one friend who subscribes to the health at any size worldview but still manages not to judge me; this was clear when she just asked if I was losing weight for me or for society and once I assured her it was the former, she was happy for me and supportive.

Size aside, and even weight aside, I knew I was on my way when I needed a belt to keep up the pants I bought just a month or two ago.